You Can Now Download the Same Font Used by the National Parks

Feb 5, 2019

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Now you can show the world just how passionate you are about the country’s national parks with every email you send.

The iconic font carved into wooden signs at national parks across the country has just made its way out of nature and onto your computer screen. Quite simply called the National Park typeface, it was created by designer and professor Jeremy Shellhorn’s Design Outside Studio — a summer design course held in Rocky Mountain National Park.

According to Fast Company, Shellhorn was on a sabbatical from his job at the University of Kansas when he first realized the recognizable font on park signage across the nation had not been digitized. He was working on redesigning Rocky Mountain National Park’s newspaper, and wanted to make use of those unmistakable capital letters. But all of the text was being chiseled into wood boards using a CNC router.

So Shellhorn took his students from the week-and-a-half-long Design Outside Studio and tasked them with creating a digital typeface inspired by the wooden markers. The class used “rubbings” from the signs and developed four variations of the typeface including light, regular, heavy and outline. The typeface was released last summer, and has since been downloaded in every state, as well as countries abroad.

The National Park font in heavy weight.

In addition to the font — which, for just a moment, might transport you far away from your desk to your favorite national park — the class has created pop-up art installations at campgrounds around the park and completed other design projects for park rangers.

Design Outside Studio’s next undertaking? Designing dingbats in the same font. In the meantime, you can download the National Park typeface here, for free.

Featured image by Aniket Deole via Unsplash.

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